Summer, a new Israeli startup, has designed a way to easily look up the people who’s names you come across on web pages. Using their Google Chrome extension (coming soon to Safari & Firefox), Summer uses a semantic web engine that crawls the web site you’re on and then allows you to look up those mentioned by name on the page through over 70 different sources.
For example let’s take Mark Cuban for instance. Now we realize a lot of websites may link key figures names’ to previously published articles on their site, however when you use Summer, the plugin will quickly check ESPN, the New York Times and several other sources for information about Mark Cuban. When you click on Cuban’s name in an article on nibletz.com a side wall will pop up giving you information on Mark Cuban in a biography format, other story links and links to people that Cuban is somehow connected with. As the startup continues to grow, more and more information will be added.
Ohad Frankfurt, Lior Degani, Shlomi Babluki and Oz Katz have been friends for nine years and they are all co-founders of this unique new startup.
We got a chance to talk with Summer. Check out our interview below:
What is Summer?
Summer is a content enrichment platform that makes it incredibly easy to get more information about people and topics your read about across the web. In a way, it’s like Rapportive for the entire web.
In layman’s terms, how does it work?
Once installing the Summer Chrome extension (soon we will release a firefox and Safari extension as well), a semantic web engine recognize the names that are mentioned in each article you read. We are compatible with more than 70 websites such as : NYTimes, USAToday, ESPN, MLB.com and much more and adding more each day ( we do not have any partnership with those publications)
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
We are 4 longtime friends, each with more than 9 years experience in system and software engineering, pre and post sales, product and marketing positions.
Ohad Frankfurt,CEO – https://twitter.com/ohadfrankfurt
Lior Degani, Marketing and Growth – https://twitter.com/liordegani
Shlomi Babluki, CTO
Oz Katz, Product and Engineering
Where are you based?
We are based in Tel-Aviv, currently we’re relocating the marketing and operational team to NY while the technical team will stay in TLV for now
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
TLV is an amazing place to build your idea, there are so many talented entrepreneurs that are always happy to help and assist in anything they can.The TLV startup scene is booming and there are many promising companies that based in TLV. Summer is actually an IDC Elevator portfolio company, IDC Elevator is a 4 month program that helps startup to build their product and take it to the US market. It’s a fantastic program and we’re proud to be in it.
How did you come up with the idea for Summer?
I must admit I’m an information freak, I always want to know more about things I find interesting, one day I noticed I read an article in TechCrunch and 4 minutes later I had about 11 open tabs (!) that were all related to the people and companies that were mentioned within the article. I spent a lot of time in searching for information that I should have gotten while reading the article.
How did you come up with the name?
We wanted to use a name that will : 1. make people smile when they hear it for the first time 2. be easy to write after you hear it 3. be short and understandable
so after a few hours of sitting in the Israeli sun we came up with Summer which is a actually from the word Summary.
What problem does Summer solve?
In today’s digital era, we are all less captivated by textual content and we can be easily distracted by topics we find interesting within articles we read online. when we do get distracted we have so many options for where to get the information from, Summer helps you stay in focus, add a contextual and social layer to the content you read and most importantly helping you stay inside the page and get a valuable information with zero efforts.
What’s your secret sauce?
Our secret sauce is our semantic web engine that recognize names and objects within articles across the web and helps us to provide to our users more relevant content about the things they find interesting.
What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
There are a lot of dilemmas while running a startup, in our stage most of our dilemmas were related to the product and go-to-market. but our strategy is to ship quickly, validate and iterate so we’re actually solving dilemmas with the help of our users – we learn what they want and what they need and that’s makes it easier to make decisions along the way.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
I can say that running a startup is like being in a rollacoster, everything is changing so fast, one seconds you’re up and then you’re down on the ground. If I can point out something that I’m really proud of is that my co-founders and I learned how to better handle failures and success along the way, each day that goes by I feel like we’re becoming better – each one separately and as a team. everyone makes mistakes, but in order to be successful you need to know how handle those mistakes and learn from them.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
We have so many mentors as part of the IDC Elevator program, there are more than 70 mentors in the program, each with so much experience and passion to help young startups. I’ve learned so much from them and they helped me understand the business better and most importantly – they saved me from making the mistakes they have already made and that’s so important when running a startup.
What’s next for Summer?
We are now working on some cool new stuff that we will be releasing soon, first of all we’re adding new websites each day and we will be releasing the firefox and safari versions really soon. and we’re working on something very exciting here which we will announce in the near future.
Check out Summer here at getsummer.com
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